A healthy diet not only takes careful grocery store shopping but significant prep time in the kitchen. It’s a lot of work to constantly be eating tasty, nutrient-dense foods. Are you too busy or too tired to prepare healthy meals for yourself every day – so many of us are in the same boat. Here are a few workarounds.
Here are 13 meal prep hacks, tips, and tricks that you can try at home:
1. Buy Fruits
Apples, pears, oranges, and bananas can be eaten on their own. Though not everything you feast on will be something you can eat in one hand, this type of snack is tasty, easy to carry, and is ready to have with no prep work involved whenever you like.
2. Try An Instant Pot
Trying an instant pot is another meal prep hack that you need to know. An Instant Pot is a great way to toss in protein, some veggies, or whatever you’d like to have dinner-wise and let it slowly cook throughout the afternoon. If you want a quick meal though, Instant Pots and pressure cookers aren’t going to offer much.
3. Make Leftovers
Always make leftovers. When you do have the time to cook a good-sized dinner, have some leftovers put away for future lunches and dinners. This way, you won’t feel so bad about dedicating an hour or longer towards a single meal. You can spread it out across multiple meals.
4. Meal Delivery Services
Organic meal delivery services are easy ways to get healthy, fresh meals to you that don’t require any prep work. Have a nutrient-dense, clean meal ready to dig into for dinner every night. Affordable and readily available, this is the best way to enjoy a convenient dish with no meal prep.
5. Freeze Your Own Meals
Some leftovers you aren’t going to want to eat for more than a couple days in a row so freeze them. A lot of meals can be frozen with ease, like stews and soups, lasagnas and casseroles, and more. Once again, when you do have the time to make these sorts of things, really take advantage of that.
6. Try Batch-Cooking
Batch-cooking is to make a large amount of something. Set it into portions and put it in the refrigerator, ready to pull from when you need to eat. This can be done with rice, quinoa, and salads. Though not every meal works like this, a lot can. If you know you have an extra hour somewhere in the week, put it to this.
7. Cook Meats Ahead of Time
Something like chicken can be cooked in large batches and put away. It’s as easy as poaching some chicken breasts and then putting them in the fridge for another time. When you want chicken, take it out, toss it in a pan, throw on a sauce, and heat it up. You’re done.
8. Make Trail Mixes
A homemade trail mix is tasty and custom to your own tastes. Blend in chocolate chips or other treats alongside nuts and dehydrated fruit to come up with something in line with your taste preferences. A trail mix can be taken by the handful and dumped into a bowl or put in a food container for lunch. It’s a lot healthier alternative than sugar-filled alternatives like cereal.
9. Cans of Non-Perishables
Cans of food aren’t the healthiest. They are packed with sodium. That said, a Chef Boyardee cooks up quick in a pot or can even be put in the microwave for a few minutes. If you’re concentrated on healthy eating though, this type of eating is best avoided.
10. Order From Local Restaurants
Though costly, ordering a meal from any of your local restaurants isn’t something to avoid. Occasionally, it can be a nice way to introduce yourself to new dishes and support a local business. At least once a month, it’s not a bad idea to try ordering from a local restaurant. Shopping a meal delivery service with regular delivery can be similarly advantageous.
11. Make Fruit And Veggie Shakes
Everyone loves snacks because they’re quick and easy. They’re also empty calories a lot of the time. How you can work around this is by taking some time and making shakes instead. A vegetable or fruit shake made in large batches can be put away in the fridge and taken by the cup when you need something fast.
12. Healthy Frozen Foods
The frozen food aisle at grocery stores has changed a lot in the past two decades. Frozen foods are a wide category, however, there are many healthy meals in bags and boxes that can be tossed into a pan, heated, stirred, and are ready to serve. Though it can be expensive if you’re eating like this regularly, it can be very healthy although this depends on the brand.
13. Buy Glass Containers
Glass containers can be put in the oven, microwave, and then stored in the fridge. Though containers made from plastic are cheapest, glass allows you to prepare small dishes that only have to be put into the oven. Think pastas, dips, rice dishes, potato dishes, casseroles, and all sorts of things.